- From In Retrospect
“The banca rocked gently on the waves. I dipped my feet in the azure waters, and far down below I can see the corals and seaweeds swaying. The sun shone brightly, but the heat was cooled by the breeze. We were heading home.My knee still bled from where it was scratched. Nearby, a fisherman was catching his lunch. Judging from the tug on his fishing line, it looked like it was going to be a big meal…”
- From One Fine Day
“I took a deep breath. “I will be serving you a Final Warning for absences.” My heart started to pound, I swear she could hear it. Oh dear, I thought- I’m about to fire my first CSR! I heard through the grapevine she was two months pregnant, and this added to my apprehension.“Unfortunately, this effectively disqualifies you for regularization. Sorry Nina, but you are already- ” I squirmed in my seat.“Termed?” She said, looking me in the eye.“Yes!” I sighed with relief…”
- From Transitions
“With strings of fragrant Sampaguita wrapped in plastic on my left hand and a 1,516 page book on my right, I make my way to the waiting area for jeepneys outside the church. Normally, six-thirty pm would still be dusk, with a few faint twinkling of evening stars peeking in the horizon- but not this night. There was a slight drizzle and it was already dark, signaling the start of cold nights and shorter days…”
- From Finals, and Fluctuating Faith
“Moving exams are another story. You are given a minute per specimen, and answer about two to three questions, 50 stations in all. Ding! The bell rings and you move to your microscope or specimen. I try to fight my nervous shaking fingers and try to concentrate on the field of vision as seen in the ocular. Unfortunately, if you will be using the old microscope, hardly any light gets reflected into the lens. You are not allowed to squint (you will be asked to leave), you are not allowed to re-adjust the focus (you will be asked to leave), or talk to voice out your concern (you will be asked to leave). So you suck it up, and try to make sense of what you see. Ding! Move on to the next microscope..”
- From Tumbling!
“My pants are ripping apart. These are an old pair of black slacks I used to wear in the office, once part of my work wardrobe. The first tear began at the crotch, just a tiny bit- you won’t even see it until you look closely. Nanay mended it for me, unfortunately not too subtly, because she used red-colored thread. Now the sides are already splitting in the seams near my right hip. I am troubled. No one wants to do the full monty in a Catholic institution…”
- From Austere Philosophy from an Old Pair of Pants
“I pick up my last ball and take a deep breath. “Whoosh!” I threw it as towards the ring.. and then it misses its mark and lands on the garden patch way outside the court. My cheeks were flaming; I never did so horribly in anything before.
“Two more tries!” The instructor said. I didn’t know if I was going to be happy or insulted that he took pity on me and decided to give me five chances like the girls instead of the three tries for guys.
Reluctantly, I picked up the ball. I really had a bad feeling this wasn’t going to end happily. I said a silent prayer as I tried my luck with this ball. It was off target like the others, and bounced wildly as it landed on the concrete…”
- From Basketball Diary: The First and Final Entry